After completing my BSc (Hons) in Zoology at University of Nottingham I went on to study for a PhD on mechanisms of action of sleep peptides at University of Birmingham. I then spent 4 years as a post-doc at Imperial College and 9 years at the Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College) London before moving to Leicester as a Senior Research Fellow in 1997. Although I undertook substantial teaching responsibilities during my post-docs and Fellowship I joined the academic staff as a Lecturer in the School of Psychology in 2002 and I mainly teach on the biological basis of normal behaviour and of mental disease to both Psychology and Biology students. My research focuses on understanding neurochemical mechanisms controlling normal and abnormal behaviour related to mental disease. Current projects look at modulation of dopamine function in striatum in relation to schizophrenia and addiction giving insights into basic mechanisms of function providing a better understanding of the origins of disease and pointer to novel treatment strategies. Previous funding includes grants from BBSRC Wellcome Trust and NC3Rs.
My research investigates neurochemical mechanisms underlying motivation and attention both in normal brains and in mental disease. Ongoing projects are looking at links between these fundamental processes in normal brains and dysfunctions in mental conditions including addiction and schizophrenia. To this end we use in vitro fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in rodent brains to investigate modulation of dopamine release in a number of brain areas both in normal brains and in models of addiction and schizophrenia. Complementing these studies we use both in vivo neurochemical techniques and behavioural assessment to study the neurochemistry of behaviours relevant to these conditions.
Our analytical chemistry section uses HPLC to measure neurochemicals in brain tissue from rodents fish and Planarian flatworms in collaboration with other groups both within and beyond this University
Parallel human studies use similar behavioural tasks in healthy volunteers to ascertain personality and environmental variables which my influence performance.
Current lab members:
Mokolapo Tenibiaje (PhD student)
(0) Ferdinand, J. M., Peters, K. Z., Yavas, E., & Young, A. M. J. (2021). Modulation of stimulated dopamine release in rat nucleus accumbens shell by GABA in vitro: Effect of sub-chronic phencyclidine pretreatment. J Neurosci Res. doi:10.1002/jnr.24843
Peters, K. Z., Young, A. M. J., & McCutcheon, J. E. (2021) Distracting stimuli evoke ventral tegmental area responses in rats during ongoing saccharin consumption. European Journal of Neuroscience, 53(6), 1809-1821. doi:10.1111/ejn.15108
Naneix, F., Peters, K.Z., Young, A.M.J. & McCutcheon, J.E. (2020) Age dependent effects of protein restriction on the dopamine system. Neuropsychopharm (In Press, Accepted July, 2020)
Yavas, E. & Young, A. M. J. (2020). Repeated phencyclidine disrupts nicotinic acetylcholine regulation of dopamine release in nucleus accumbens: implications for models of schizophrenia. Neurochemistry International, 140, 104836. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104836
Al Ali A.M. and Young A.M.J. (2019) Disruption of latent inhibition by subchronic phencyclidine pretreatment in rats. Behav Brain Res, 368, 163-166
Dalla Vecchia E., Di Donato V., Young A.M.J., del Bene F. & Norton W.H.J. (2019) Reelin Signalling controls the preference for social novelty in zebrafish. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 13:214. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00214
Gupta I and Young AMJ (2018) Modulation of dopamine release by glutamate in the nucleus accumbens shell is unaffected by phencyclidine pretreatment: in vitro assessment using fast cyclic voltammetry. Brain Research, 1687, 155-161
Stubbendorff, C., Molano, M., Young, A.M.J. & Gerdjikov T.V. (2018). Encoding of behavioural choice in the prefrontal-striatal circuit: Clues from multisite single unite recordings in a go no-go task in rats. Eur.J.Neuroscience
Yavas, E. & Young, A,M.J.. (2017) N-methyl-D-aspartate modulation of nucleus accumbens dopamine release by metabotropic glutamate receptors: fast cyclic voltammetry studies in rat brain slices in vitro. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 8(2), 320-328; DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00397
Jones, L., McCutcheon, J., Young, A., & Norton, W. (2015). Neurochemical measurements in the zebrafish brain. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00246.
School of Psychology:
Year 1: Introduction to Brain and Behaviour; Introduction to Applied Psychology
Year 2: Psychopathology: an integrated approach to disorders of the mind; Topics in Clinical Neuroscience
Year 3: Neuroscience of Mental Health
MSc: Biological Psychology
School of Biology
Year 3: Brain and Behaviour
Neurochemical basis of schizophrenia and addiction
Membership of Societies:
British Neuroscience Association
British Pharmacological Society
Physiological Society (UK)
Biochemical Society (UK)
International Society for Monitoring Molecules in Neuroscience